The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 005 – Apple Cupcakes Edition! The Beginnings of Fall & Apple Orchard Season

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You might be wondering why there was no mention of my delicious apple caramel cupcake from City Cider in my post yesterday.  After all, I certainly wiggled the bait a bit with my sneak peek photo Sunday night!  I didn’t forget and I swear I wasn’t trying to be a meanie by witholding scrumptious information (who posts a photo of a drool-worthy cupcake and then doesn’t say another word about it for 2 days?!  Er, me).  There’s a good reason for the wait: this delightful tender morsel of sweet cake and apple fruit, along with the apple cinnamon caramel cupcake from Yummy Stuff, was the inspiration behind this latest edition of The Cupcake Connection: Fall Apple Edition!  I am beyond giddy about this one!  A whole post dedicated to cupcakes and apples.  And apples in cupcakes.  And apples in cupcake frosting.  I LOVE APPLE CUPCAKES! 

It’s one of the ways I get to kick my apple allergy in the pants while still maintaining a healthy dose of cupcake in my life.  It wasn’t until I ate my apple caramel cupcake at City Cider that it dawned on me: there are so many different cupcake bakeries in and around the city that go full out on fall flavour using juicy, sweet apples come September.  Just think, there’s apple cinnamon, apple caramel, apple-pear, apple spice, apple and nuts, the list goes on.  And it’s beautifully represented in both cupcake and frosting form!

Fall is the season, to me, that never lasts long enough.  Winter always drags on and on.  Spring can get a little too muddy and wet.  And summer?  Well, let’s just say this past season made me reconsider how much I truly adore those hazy days.  But fall?  I love dearly.  And the prominence of apples in sweets, baked goods, and in food in general at this time, makes me love it that much more.  Thanks to Savera’s Pretty Sweet: A Mobile Cupcakery food truck at City Cider, I was totally inspired to compile all the different apple cupcakes available in shops and on cupcake menus throughout the city! 

Let it be known though that I had no idea this adorable, super pretty cupcake truck existed until I went to City Cider on Sunday.  I was totally smitten!  Donning shades of pink, red, brown, white, and turquoise, it looked exactly like a fairy tale cupcake truck, ready to make the magic of cupcakes that much sweeter and yummier.  Because it’s a mobile, moving entity, the only way to really follow Pretty Sweet is via their Facebook page and Twitter where locations for the day or week are posted, flavours are listed, and events the truck will be at announced.  The Pretty Sweet Toronto website is still under construction, but you can still access contact info and some really beautiful photos through the original custom cake business website at Pretty Sweet Cakes HERE.

And we can’t have an apple cupcake discussion without gushing about the apple bourbon caramel cinnamon (say that 5 times fast!) cupcake from Yummy Stuff!  Both the apple caramel from Pretty Sweet and the apple bourbon caramel cinnamon are SO delicious and unique in their own ways.  The apple caramel from Pretty Sweet had much more of a sweet and sticky toffee pudding taste and feel to it with soft apple spice cake, creamy cream cheese frosting, and generous portion of caramel sauce on top.  This is the type of cupcake that doubles as a dessert in the sense that it doesn’t scream, “I’m a little cake with frosting on it!”, but rather, you can envision this as a non-cupcake dessert dish.  It’s fabulous!  

The apple cupcake from Yummy Stuff on the other hand was more like apple pie with mouthwatering frosting on top!  It was stuffed with apple chunks and a bourbon caramel sauce filling and topped with the most amazing sweet and creamy cinnamon frosting!  Oh man, THIS is cupcake frosting at its finest!  As a note though, it’s ideal if you eat theirs with a fork just because the apple chunks may fall out and get messy if you eat it straight out of the wrapper with your hands.  This cupcake at Yummy Stuff is the special September flavour, so definitely try your best to get your sweet teeth on one before the month is over!  I really do hope it stays around for the whole season though because it’s just so good.  We’ll see; they kept their S’mores cupcake for longer than a month so there’s hope!  

Look out for other apple cupcakes at these cupcake and sweet shops around the city!

  • Bobbette & Belle, 1121 Queen Street East: Apple Spice ($2.95) – apple spice cake with Canadian maple buttercream frosting.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; cal ahead to find out (416-466-8800).
  • Crumbs & Co./Pink Lemon Bakeshop, 10220 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill (as well as 2 other locations including their newest in North York at 399 Old Orchard Grove off of Avenue Road): Apple Pie ($3.00) – apple cupcake with honey and spice frosting.  Daily rotation; call ahead to find out (905-237-6406).
  • For the Love of Cake, 171 East Liberty Street: Caramel Apple ($3.00) – apple spice cupcake with caramel filling, caramel frosting, and topped with a caramel chew.  Daily rotation; call ahead to find out (416-306-6446) or check out their selectiom via Twitter @4theloveofcake 
  • Old Firehall Confectionery, 170 Main Street in Unionville, Markham: Apple Cinnamon ($2.89) – vanilla cupcake with apple cinnamon frosting and apple crisp and nut crumbles on top.  Seasonal, currently available.
  • Short & Sweet Cupcakes,1945 Avenue Road: Apple Cinnamon ($2.90) – apple cinnamon cupcake with caramel filling, vanilla frosting, and caramel drizzle.  Available during the month of September.
  • So Into Cupcakes, 2060 Ellesmere Road: Apple Cinnamon ($2.50) – cupcake stuffed with brown sugar apple filling and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sweet apples.  Available during the month of September.
  • The Social Cupcake, 129B Lakeshore Rd. East in Mississauga: Apple Cinnamon ($3.00) – apple cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Daily rotation, call ahead (905-271-7612) or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @social_cupcake

Feel free to leave a message here if you know of any other cupcake shops that are dishing out the luscious apples!

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Blueberry Lemon & Rose Lychee – A Photo Spotlight on the Rainbow of Macarons at Ruelo Patisserie

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*****

Ruelo Patisserie serves two locations in the GTA with one located in Richmond Hill and the other in uptown Toronto.  Ruelo Richmond Hill is located within the Times Square outdoor plaza at the corner of Hwy 7 East and Leslie Street (550 Hwy 7 E., unit C73; cafe faces south) while Ruelo uptown will be celebrating three months of sweets at their second and new location at 4-6 Erksine Ave. in the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood.  The Richmond Hill location is open 6 days a week from Tuesday-Sunday (12:30pm-8pm from Sunday-Thursday and 12:30pm-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays) and Ruelo uptown is open 7 days a week with earlier opening hours (8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 11:30am-8pm on Saturdays, and 11:30am-6pm on Sundays).

Happiness & Warmth in a Bowl – Matcha Lattes & Pork Gyoza Dumplings with Ramen at Destiny Cafe, Part II

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Now that you have all read about my tale of birthday ice cream cake embarrassment, it’s time to get down to food business with photos and food stories of noodles and tea drinks!  Destiny Cafe is situated in what I call the “restaurant congregeation” of Richmond Hill, right by East Beaver Creek Drive and Highway 404.  I’m not joking when I refer to this area as restaurant central – there are more than 10 restaurants on this one plot of land and they’re all within hopping and skipping distance from one another!  If you’re in the mood for fruity drinks and tea, snacks, and lots of Chinese food, and if you happen to be in the area, Destiny Cafe is your destination.  In my opinion though, Destiny is worth going to even if you’re aren’t in the vicinity because I think their menu caters to many tastes and appetites. 

Destiny Cafe has two locations, one in Scarborough and one in Richmond Hill, and while I’ve been to the Scarborough location several times in the past, this was my first time eating at the Richmond Hill one and I was beyond shocked when I stepped inside the large and majestic cafe.  I knew it looked huge from the outside, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw on the inside.  This wasn’t a cafe, this was the size of a banquet hall!  The entire space was bathed in ivory, cream, and chocolate brown with splashes of soft green.  Beautiful light fixtures hung from the ceiling and gorgeous floral arrangement planters filled with calla lilies, siberia lilies, and other flowers dotted the dining areas throughout the cafe, bursting with red, oranges, and yellows.  Big windows allowed plenty of natural light to filter through and seating was ample and spacious.  The atmosphere felt fresh, peaceful.

What I love about Destiny, aside from the gorgeous decor, is the variety of food and drink and how organized the menu is.  The menu is divided into two sections (drink and food), where the first portion of the menu is devoted to bubble tea, herbal tea, and coffee drinks.  A rainbow of bubble tea, slushes, soy drinks, milk teas, milkshakes, coffee drinks, lattes, and tea drinks with ice cream greet you within the first five pages or so, followed by a page of herbal and flowering teas.  If that’s not enough to make your head spin, the menu continues on with a healthy dose of dim sum appetizers, snacks, diner style sandwiches, toasts, fried rice, fried noodles, steamed rice meals with meats and vegetables, and soup noodles. 

In addition to their regular menu, they also offer a set lunch menu from 11am-2:30pm which includes a salad, spring roll, your choice of entree, a small coffee, iced/hot green tea or milk tea, and a dessert for $7.99.  On top of that, there’s an afternoon tea time menu offered from 2:30pm onward, with dim sum dishes, small plates, and snack items.  In yesterday’s post, I posted a photo of some crispy shrimp and mango rolls.  Those were ordered from the afternoon tea time menu at the Scarborough location and they were absolutely divine.

If I had to compare Destiny Cafe to another place, I’d say that the menu is somewhat similar to that of Ten Ren’s Tea Time.  Both Destiny and Ten Ren’s have an abundance of bubble tea and tea drink menu items, as well as a menu centered around Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese dishes among other Asian foods.  While both menus offer the same scope of bubble tea and tea selections, Destiny’s food is definitely more diner style whereas Ten Ren’s leans more toward traditional dishes found in Cantonese and Taiwanese cuisine.  For example, while you wouldn’t find diner style sandwiches, toasts, and fried rice at Ten Ren’s, you would find plenty of soup noodle meals, steamed rice with meat and vegetables, and appetizers and snacks.  

If you’re really looking for a tea and dessert type of meal though, I’d go for Ten Ren’s as their selection is greater and more unique.  Destiny’s desserts are more run-of-the-mill as many of them come from La Rocca.  The food and drink though?  Fabulous. 

Given how I’m on a bit of green tea latte and dessert kick, I had a delicious, warm matcha latte ($4.49) to go along with my ramen noodles in soup with gyoza pork dumplings ($7.99).  The latte was nice and strong in matcha flavour and not “milked down “or diluted in the least.  It was a great accompaniment to my noodles which I enjoyed so much.  I love noodles and I especially love ramen noodles in soup.  It’s one of my favourite comfort foods and meals.  The warmth of the soup broth, the savouriness of the noodles – it’s happiness in a bowl!  I was debating between the pork cutlet with ramen noodles and the ramen noodles with the gyoza dumplings and ultimately, the dumplings won me over because I adore dumplings with noodles. 

The ramen noodle bowl contained a tea egg (cha-yeep-daan), some crabstick meat, bean sprouts (I’m not the biggest fan of bean sprouts and telling the nice waitress completely slipped my mind, so I’ll admit that many of them were still floating around in the leftover broth when I was finished.  My bad.), some vegetables, three pork gyoza dumplings, and lots of scrumptious ramen noodles.  The noodles were absolutely delicious.  They were cooked perfectly al dente and they were savoury and thick and just divine.  And the dumplings!  They were golden brown, crispy around the edges, and juicy and soft on the inside where the pockets of pork were.  It was a wonderful meal, one that I would most definitely have again. 

Coming here has made me realize just how much I’ve missed it and how crazy I’ve been for not coming back for good eats sooner!  Even though the humourous catasphrophe that was my birthday is an event I can look back on and laugh, I’m happy to have these new food memories.  Especially ones that tasted as delicious as these.

 

*****

Destiny Cafe is located at 165 York Blvd. in Richmond Hill, Markham.  The large space is housed within a complex of restaurants and eateries and can be accessed via East Beaver Creek Drive and Highway 7, just off the 404.  Destiny Cafe has two locations in the GTA.  The other location is located in Scarborough off Silver Star Blvd. and Steeles Ave. East.  The markham location is open for business at 11am.

Bubble Tea, Chinese Food, and Memories of a Melting Ice Cream Birthday Cake – Destiny Cafe, Part I

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You know a cafe holds a special place in your heart when you’re happy to go back for eats even after a mortifying experience.  On your birthday.  In front of other people.  And by mortifying, I mean having your special circus-themed ice cream birthday cake completely defrost, deflate, collapse, and flood the dinner table with your dinner guests watching, laughing hysterically, and then helping you mop up the goopy mess afterward.  And that, my dear friends, is the fondest memory I have of eating at Destiny Cafe until now.  Which is somewhat unfortunate considering I’m in love with their menu, their decor, and their drinks and food!  Let me start from the beginning though and turn the clocks back to the summer of 2008.  

Enter the reunion of yours truly with a childhood friend through the magic of social media.  Said friend suggests grabbing a bite at Destiny Cafe in Scarborough.  Yours truly, not yet the savvy food adventurer she is now (humour me with that one), has no prior knowledge of what Destiny Cafe is or what food and drink they serve.  However, she is highly intrigued and jumps on the chance to try a new place and to catch up with an old friend.  Yours truly is happy to find out that Destiny Cafe is a lovely place with traditional Chinese rice and noodle meals and snacks, and vows to come back in the future.  

    

When she does so in 2009, she is shocked to see the cafe has undergone a complete makeover in both appearance and in menu, making it one heck of a gorgeous and delicious space to eat in!  Goodbye wooden and bamboo accents and furniture; hello sleek and shiny gunmetal and olive green!  The scrapping of the traditional Chinese food menu made way for the more modern and hip bubble tea and tea drink cafe with fried rice and noodles dishes, dim sum appetizers, and Hong Kong diner style fare.  Yours truly is hooked and vows to eat and drink her way through this luscious Chinese cafe.

And eat and drink she did as she enjoyed afternoon tea time food with her family (scrumptious crispy shrimp and mango dim sum rolls!  Mango peach bubble tea!) and a birthday get-together with friends and boyfriend.  She decided Destiny Cafe would be a lovely place to hold a birthday dinner – large space, large menu.  With circus themed goodie bags and special ice cream cake in hand (or rather, hands), the birthday girl made her way Destiny Cafe for what hoped to be a memorable birthday celebration with great food, drinks, and friends.

Oh, it was memorable alright, as unforseen circumstances took hold.  The food gods must have chosen her as the next target to poke fun at because before anyone could say, “melting cake!!!”, disaster struck as the birthday girl’s entire cake caved in, melted, and spread like evil molten lava.  Mortified and nearly choking on her Portuguese chicken and rice, she lunges for the stack of napkins and tries to salvage what is now a circus freak show mess.  The birthday girl’s friends and boyfriend help to clean up by eating any and all unmelted remnants, shoving the leftover goopy mess into the cake box, and using ice cube water and leftover guava juice to mop up the evidence.  All the while giggling uncontrollably and soothing the birthday girl’s wounded spirit. 

And that, folks, is the last memory I had of Destiny Cafe until now.  Under the circumstances, I actually took the incident fairly well and snorted about it on the way home.  That incident occurred two and a half years ago and I look back it ruefully and fondly.  My last trip to Destiny may have ended on a mortifying note, but I look back and only remember the good because all my food experiences here in the past have given great food and memories.

If not for my old friend, I never would have known about this Chinese cafe and I never would have had the pleasure of tucking away another delicious Chinese food spot into my list of Chinese cafe mainstays.  Destiny played a part in my family’s afternoon tea time meal phase during a difficult time in my life, and it gave my friends and I one of the most ridiculous, hilarious memories ever.  No matter what, food brings us together and it’s what anchors many of fondest memories. 

Aside from the crispy dim sum rolls, what you see up top are photos taken from the Markham location as opposed to the Scarborough one.  I’ve barely made even a tiny dent in the food and drink department since, but I have a yummy post to share with you all tomorrow that’s sure to get you eating and drinking here.  Minus the melting lava cake. 

*****

Destiny Cafe is located at 165 York Blvd. in Richmond Hill, Markham.  The large space is housed within a complex of restaurants and eateries and can be accessed via East Beaver Creek Drive and Highway 7, just off the 404.  Destiny Cafe has two locations in the GTA.  The other location is located in Scarborough off Silver Star Blvd. and Steeles Ave. East.  The markham location is open for business at 11am.

Beauty and the Bubble Tea – Red Bean Mocha and Green Tea Noodles at Ten Ren’s Tea Time, Part II

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When you come to Ten Ren’s, you realize right off the bat that they take their tea seriously.  Their selection is mind-boggling with everything from fruity bubble teas with tapioca pearls, green, black, and oolong teas with fresh fruit, milk and ice, fruit ices, fruit slushes, coconut milk teas, horoscope drinks, and a plethora of hot teas including ginseng, chysanthemum, blooming flower blossoms and herbal combinations in charming tea pots. 

Think mango, peach, strawberry, mocha, coconut, taro, red bean, banana, grape, lychee, passionfruit, peppermint, kiwi, lemon, green apple, honey, grapefruit, almond, papaya, watermelon…and everything in between.  You wouldn’t expect anything less from a sit down tea house.  What you might not know is that they also do FOOD very well.  Each time I come to Ten Ren’s, I’m reminded all over again why I love it so much.  I am head over heels for their desserts (especially their cute little cakes) and their warm bowls of steamed rice and noodles are a warm, familiar comfort.

Ten Ren’s and I go way back and I love this place to pieces.  For one thing, it’s a gorgeous place to be in.  It’s open and spacious with high ceilings, bamboo and wooden accents, large windows, traditional Chinese scrolls and ink drawings on both the walls and glass, soothing neutral colours, and trinkling water fountains.  It’s so wonderfully relaxing having a meal here.  Ten Ren’s has this peaceful, soothing tranquility to it much like King’s Cafe in Kensington Market; it’s like being in a food spa and the atmosphere adds so much to the dining experience here because you don’t feel rushed, or confined, or caught up in the hustle and bustle.  You relax and you enjoy.  And if you order a teapot of blooming flower blossom tea, you sit back and quietly watch your blossom and tea do its thing as it gingerly opens up.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Ten Ren’s food is a fusion of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese with many items infused with tea.  They have steamed rice and noodles with both meat (fish, chicken, beef, and pork) and vegetarian options.  Meat items are things like curry beef, spare ribs, breaded fish fillets, seafood dumplings, black pepper chicken, crispy chicken, pork and chicken cutlets, and bbq meat (siu lap).  Vegetarian items include lots of steamed Chinese vegetables (gai lan, for example), pickled vegetables, tofu, cabbage, winter melon, Chinese style boiled eggs (cha yeep daan and soy sauce eggs), and others.

It’s one of those perfect places for a bubble tea date, a drinks and dessert date, and a lunch or dinner date.  Basically, for any part of the day except breakfast!  This is one of their strengths though because when you come here, you’re not obligated or relegated to having an actual hearty meal.  You can come in here with a friend or group of friends and just have a drink, or just order a soup or dessert.  You don’t feel that pressure to order whatever you don’t want to order because their menu is flexible.  This also means that you decide on how much you want to spend.  Granted, you obviously decide how much you want to spend any time you dine out, but you get what I mean.  When you go to certain places you KNOW that you’ll be putting down $20, for example. 

At Ten Ren’s your meal could be anywhere from $4-$20.  Drinks can be be anywhere from $3-$8 (don’t forget, this price range includes pots of tea as well), desserts come in at $4-$6, and food will run you an average of $3-$15.  Lesser expensive items include soups, steamed rice, dumpling dishes, and small mains.  Mid-range food items ($6-$10) are dishes like bowls of soup noodles, larger rice dishes, and things like sharing plates.  At the highest end of the price range are the $13.99 and $14.99 meal sets (combos) that include a main, a drink, and a dessert from a list of choices.  In a nutshell, I’d say an actual “food” meal would come to around $10-$12 because you could honestly mix and match menu items till the sun comes up.

The last time I was here, my longtime friend Katrina from The Demure Muse and I had ourselves a summer bubble tea and lunch date.  I love this girl.  I have known her for nearly 7 years now and she’s one of the few people in my life that I can yak about everything with, from clothes to food to crafting to relationships.  Throughout those 7 years, we were all over the place with both work and school and I feel so lucky to have her as my friend because we never once lost touch and we always had each other’s backs and I can say with certainty that we always will.  We both ordered bubble teas and food and it was actually a first for the both of us but for different reasons.  It was Kat’s first time ordering “food” food at Ten Ren’s and it was my first time ordering noodles.  And I am happy to report back and say that I loved my noodles and enjoyed a bubble tea I wasn’t sure I would enjoy!

Remember how I said I’ve never been the biggest fan of red bean?  And remember how I said that I’ve recently changed my tune and have been purposely eating red bean things so that I would increasingly warm up to it more and more?  Well, that’s what I did this time too!  It took me forever and a half to decide on a drink, but I finally settled on a red bean mocha drink with green tea matcha powder sprinkled on top.  I really enjoyed it!  Granted, I wish there was more green tea matcha, but for the most part, it was a delicious drink and I adored my giant red straw and lime green skinny spoon!  You know how I feel about colourful utensils 😀  There was a very generous amount of red bean and the mocha had a yummy coffee-mixed-with-chocolate flavour that wasn’t bitter from the coffee part of it. 

And to eat, I had myself a hot (and I mean hot as I had to take my glasses off while I ate because they were fogging up!) bowl of green tea noodles with shrimp wonton dumplings.  The green tea noodles were pale green in colour and although the herbal flavour was very subtle, they were super smooth and soft and they were scrumptious.  My shrimp dumplings were juicy and savoury and I loved the shredded seaweed and adorably shaped carrot slices.  To finish off the bowl, bean sprouts (which I actually don’t care for but ate anyway) and some lettuce and napa cabbage.  It was my first time trying their noodles and I’m looking forward to trying some others, but probably sans the bean sprouts, ha.

Ten Ren’s has given such sweet memories over the years with all the tea and lunch dates I’ve had with close friends and in many ways, I feel like this is still just the beginning.  Even after all the visits, the menu is dizzying to me all the same, so I guess that just means I’ll have to remedy that by going again.  And again.  And eating cake and drinking awesome drinks.

*****

Ten Ren’s Tea Time is located at 111 Times Ave. in Richmond Hill, Markham.  Ten Ren’s sits at the corner of Hwy 7. East and Times Ave/Valleymede Drive (Times Ave is the southern portion of the street and Valleymede is to the north of Hwy. 7).  They are open for lunch at 11am 7 days a week and they stay open into the wee hours of the morning (1am-3am).  For more info, click here.

A Mountain of Bubble Tea, Noodles, and Sweet Cakes & Desserts – It’s Tea Time at Ten Ren’s! Part I

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I love the way bubble tea gets everyone animated, excited, and talking.  There’s the ubiquitous “with or without tapioca?” question (or debate depending on how passionate you feel about this issue) and hundreds of different flavours and combinations to consider and try if you’re ambitious.  Everyone has a bubble tea story whether it’s a story about their first time trying it (and developing that love or hate relationship early on), going out with friends on countless bubble tea dates, or nearly choking on a tapioca or boba pearl from slurping too fast.  Whatever the story is, bubble tea has played a part in many of our social lives for at least the past ten years.  During high school my friends and I would even use bubble tea straws and lid domes for art projects!  I can’t pinpoint the exact moment the bubble tea explosion happened but what I can tell you is that I’ve been slurping up a storm for years now at beautiful tea houses like Ten Ren’s.

And have I ever enjoyed myself thoroughly here!  Over the years I’ve had rice and noodles, crispy fish fillets, a beautiful tea pot of blooming chrysanthemum tea, giant glasses of slushes and fruity bubble teas, and many dishes of dessert!  I am especially gaga for their little mousse cakes and freeze cakes and I’ll even be so bold to say that these are my favourite items at Ten Ren’s.  I’ve had 3 flavours of their little dishes of cakes and I am always wanting more.  They’re so cute and they’re yummy to boot with different layers of texture and flavour to them.  I’ve had their mocha freeze, mango mousse, and their strawberry green tea mousse cakes and I’ve loved all 3 of them.  Their freeze cakes are similar to ice cream cake and their mousse cakes are exactly that, cubes of whipped creamy mousse that are airy, super soft, and that are almost like meringue in taste and texture at times.  Even if I don’t end up ordering any during my visit, I always look forward to the prospect of having these in my mouth and tummy. 

Ten Ren’s Tea Time is one of my favourite places in Markham and I feel so incredibly lucky that the only dine-in, sit-down tea house location is in Markham.  Ten Ren’s has a number of locations around Markham and Toronto, but most of them are shops that either just make and serve bubble tea to go, or shops that have both bubble tea booths and a retail section of tea sets, accessories, and take-home tea.  I’ve been going to Ten Ren’s for years and I feel almost spoiled because of its accessibility.  I’ve literally hopped on the bus to and from school to meet up with friends for a tea and lunch date because the bus literally drops me off right outside their doorstep.  

Ten Ren’s is a staple in my foodie book.  The tea house is gorgeous, the menu is so extensive it makes me dizzy with indecisiveness, and I am just in love with the atmosphere and desserts.  I have a nice big, pretty post for you all tomorrow, so enjoy the teaser photos in the meantime!          

*****

Ten Ren’s Tea Time is located at 111 Times Ave. in Richmond Hill, Markham.  Ten Ren’s sits at the corner of Hwy 7. East and Times Ave/Valleymede Drive (Times Ave is the southern portion of the street and Valleymede is to the north of Hwy. 7).  They are open for lunch at 11am 7 days a week and they stay open into the wee hours of the morning (1am-3am).  For more info, click here.